Olive Garden and Weight Watchers doesn't really work together. Sure, "you can eat anything on WW," but if I am eating at Olive Garden, I'm less "wellness that works" and more unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks--plus a pasta course that can feed a small family. This healthy Zuppa Toscana is a lightened up recipe of my go-to Olive Garden soup at a fraction of the points.
This healthy Zuppa Toscana recipe has all the flavors of OG's soup--Italian sausage, potatoes, a cheesy broth, and fresh kale--but manages to only be 3 WW smart points and only 150 calories per serving. Don't let those low points and calories fool you, this is a real deal bowl of comfort.
Zero smart points recipe for Italian turkey sausage
I've been making my zero point Italian turkey sausage for years now. Store bought Italian turkey sausage is typically not as lean as I'd like, plus it is filled with ingredients I am not super comfortable feeding my family. This spice blend has been one of my most popular recipes on my blog for good reason. It is so delicious, yet it is still super lean and zero.
This recipe has you saute the sausage in the same pot you make the soup in for added flavor. You can, however, make this sausage ahead and freeze. If you are adding the cooked frozen sausage to the pot, simply sprinkle in the sausage with the kale for an even easier soup recipe.
What to serve with Zuppa Toscana
In the winter months, this soup is all I need for a delicious and filling meal. Sometimes, however, I want a more substantial
feast dinner. Here are some of my favorite pasta pairings:
- Italian Sausage Pasta Bake
- One Pot Alfredo
- One Pot Sun-dried Tomato Alfredo
- Turkey Meatballs
- Chicken Spinach and Artichoke Lasagna Rolls (ebook exclusive)
Can I freeze this Zuppa Toscana recipe?
Yes! The potatoes can be a little mushier when thawed. You can make this recipe without the potatoes, divide it, and freeze half. That way, you just have to thaw and add 1 lb. of potatoes when you cook it. Honestly though, I like this recipe from frozen even with softer potatoes.
What can I substitute for kale?
Kale's not for everyone. You can easily substitute fresh spinach. It won't be the same texture because kale keeps its texture way better than spinach, but substitute the 4 cups of kale with 6 cups spinach.
- 1 lb. extra lean ground turkey or chicken
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp fennel seed
- pinch of kosher salt and black pepper
- 8 cups of low sodium fat free chicken broth
- 1 oz grate parmesan (the real stuff if possible)
- 2 lb. russet potatoes, thinly sliced into half circles
- 1/4 all purpose flour
- 1 bunch of kale, leaves stripped from stem and torn into bite sized pieces
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cups of water
- kosher salt & pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, mix the ground turkey with the Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, fennel seed, 1 tsp kosher salt, and a pinch of black pepper.
- Spray EVOO cooking spray in a soup pot, and saute the ground turkey sausage.
- Once the turkey is fully cooked, remove the turkey. Add the onions to the hot pot, and cook until they are translucent (about 5 minutes). While the onions cook, add a pinch of salt to the onions and a splash of chicken stock to loosen the brown bits from the bottom. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot to get any of the flavor from the turkey off.
- Once onions are translucent and soft, add the minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add water and all but 1 cup of chicken broth. Mix flour in the remaining cup of chicken broth until smooth, and add to the pot.
- Bring soup to a boil. While this is cooking, slice washed potatoes lengthwise, and cut into thin (like 1/8th of an inch) half circles. I leave the skin on, but that's up to you.
- Once soup is boiling, add sliced potatoes.
- Wait until the potatoes are cooked (basically, take a piece out and bite it OR use a fork and see if you can mash it like mashed potatoes).
- Once they are ready, turn the heat down to a simmer, and add the kale. Toss the hot broth on the kale and swish around until it cooks down.
- Add the cooked turkey sausage and parmesan cheese. Stir, taste, and adjust seasoning. Depending on the chicken broth used, you may need to add more salt. I wait until after the cheese because the parmesan is salty.
- Serve hot and enjoy.
Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana is typically creamy, but I truly don't think this soup needs it. If you want to make this creamy, but low in calories and WW points, add 1-2 cups unsweetened cashew milk, almond milk, or fat free half and half depending on your preferences. IF you plan on freezing this, freeze without the added cream for best results.
Serving Size:approx. 1.5 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 150Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 664mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 14g